Legal and Ethical Issues Regarding the Clean Needle Exchange Program

ethical questions into play and depending on the ethical approach being taken with regard to the program. it can be shown that the program is debatable. To better understand that, we have to examine what ethical principles can be applied and how the application of these ethical principles can change how the program is viewed.
As described by Wilson (2006), the principles of utilitarianism suggest that we should do things that bring the most pleasure and are most useful for society at large. It is a well-founded philosophy that suggests that all of our collective and singular actions should be taken while keeping the good of the public in mind. The good of the people can be evaluated in terms of happiness, social pleasure or public satisfaction depending on the viewpoint taken concerning what is good for society (Thiroux and Krasemann, 2006). However, the basic idea is conforming to actions that make life better for the people who a person is connected to directly or indirectly.
The utilitarian ethics take pain and pleasure to be the most likely results for any actions taken by society or even an individual. Thus, whatever brings pleasure to the greatest number of people and makes them closer to being happy is seen as utilitarian and is, therefore, a good thing for society (Thiroux and Krasemann, 2006). On the other hand, what brings misery. suffering or pain to the people should be avoided (Sweet, 2006). To evaluate the clean needle exchange program we would have to examine if it brings pain or pleasure and if both then which one is the greater good for the greatest number of people.
Murphy and Knowles (2000) discuss the clean needle exchange program and cite a report by the Surgeon General regarding the effect of the clean needle exchange programs by saying that, “The report concluded that available research showed that needle exchange programs were effective in reducing transmission of HIV if they were part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy (Murphy&nbsp.and Knowles, 2000, Pg. 1)”.&nbsp.